After a few significant upgrades, Aurora Feint has become one of the most consistently enjoyable franchises on the iPhone. A sliding match-three puzzle game at its core, Aurora Feint started with a hefty leveling system in The Beginning, then added asynchronous chatting and multiplayer versus in The Arena.
The newest version adds a leveling system for multiplayer called ‘Honor Points’ that lets you train sidekicks like a monkey, snake or toad. Their addition lets Arena Daemons shine online in ways only hinted at in previous versions.
Arena battling has become the main event, as daemons now put a twist on the standard bonus abilities — the toad, for example, ignites all of the blocks whenever you tilt the screen for easy, double-digit multipliers. The daemons have a stylish, fantasy look to them, even if they are devoid of individual personalities. Some of their abilities might seem a bit overpowered, but you’ll see your Arena score hit the stratosphere and find a dedicated group of players willing to fight you.
Single-player mode is the same as before. While sliding blocks left or right to match three, tilting the screen makes blocks fall to create chains of combos. The various “Lucky Charms” you combine serve as the resources to unlock challenges for bonus abilities and multipliers. Even though this is the third time we’ve created a character from scratch in Aurora Feint, we still enjoyed every minute building it. But with no central characters or story to speak of, this isn’t a full-fledged RPG, yet.
While Aurora Feint has had some growing pains with each iteration, this is by far the smoothest and most stable version to date. The previous games’ crashing glitches have been resolved, so it’s much easier to become absorbed in the beautiful visuals and music to utterly lose track of time.
Progress like this is encouraging. Arena Daemons adds enough fun to the multiplayer to be well worth owning, even with its slight faults. By combining the atmosphere of an epic MMORPG with an addictive and easy-to-play puzzler, Aurora Feint has become a ‘Must Have’ franchise for serious and casual gamers.